Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, I went to the first birthday party of a friend's daughter (yes, that sentence took a while to construct). We went to college together, and have stayed in loose touch ever since. We reconnected recently-- originally through Fac*ebook, and later in person as she's a single mom by choice, and I wanted to pick her brain.

(I think Fac*ebook is an entire blog entry by itself. Or three. Remind me to write the one about where my middle school nemesis has friended me. Hello? We loathed each other throughout middle/high school. Why would either of us care about what the other is doing now? Sorry. I digress.)

Anyway, the first birthday party was lovely, though of course the birthday girl couldn't have cared less about her presents; she was busy slamming together two coasters and laughing uproariously about how funny it was.

They're much cheaper to entertain at that age, that's for sure.

Also worth mentioning: the child spotted the chocolate cake and immediately scooped up a piece and shoved it in her mouth with absolutely perfect aim, then was startled at the wild applause. The pictures will serve her mother well someday, I'm sure.

** **

Vertigo Dog is... well, not doing all that well. The morning of the big negative stuff at work, she took a tumble down a flight of stairs, and it's been a slow road back to having full use of her hind legs. My poor old girl; I'm not sure how much more she can take of this. I'm not sure how much she should take.

What's especially hard is that I don't know, now, if things that are wrong are simply related to the vertigo, or related to her fall. She got agitated tonight and stayed that way for about 45 minutes, for instance; I think she only calmed down once she tired herself out. Was it a recurrence of the vertigo episode? Some of the symptoms were the same, but not all.

I have to think it's scary to be in her little brain right now. She feels dizzy and nauseous, on top of her already aged brain cells, and her back legs are (probably) sore and not working like they should. Then, of course, there's the existing problem with one of her front legs.

There's definitely been improvement since the fall Thursday. No question about that. I just have to be patient; incremental improvement is better than none at all. But at some point, if there's not even that...

The look on her face today, when she was agitated, broke my heart. I have to make sure she has a life that has some quality.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Vertigo Dog continues to improve. We've actually taken a couple of (very short) walks in the last two nights. It probably looks like I'm walking a drunk dog-- she lurches about, head permanently cocked to the right-- but she doesn't want to come back inside. Her appetite is better, too, though she'd like me to believe that she will diiiiiiie if I don't continue cooking her chicken.


It is a grim, grim week in the world of me. Nothing to do with motherhood or lack thereof; I'm still waiting for a callback for an appointment to go over test results in that area. No, it's work. Saying that the industry I work in is "struggling" is possibly the understatement of the decade, and it's so hard to watch good people (not just in my firm) struggle, and lose their jobs, and have no hope of finding another for a while. It's just bad.

And I'm just tired of it being bad, and of being in a role where I have to keep a relatively positive outlook on things when I just want to grumble and moan and possibly crawl into a corner and cry a bit.

No point to this post, really, outside of whining a little bit. And I shouldn't, really. But sometimes, everyone needs to whine.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


So, you might think your older dog has had a stroke, because s/he has all the symptoms, and they are heartbreaking. And you might cry yourself into a headache, say your goodbyes, and take her into the vet thinking that it's the end.

And then you might find out that she actually has what essentially amounts to dog vertigo, and that she's probably going to recover, and then you spend your weekend feeding her baby food off the tip of your finger and making sure she doesn't try to go down stairs or run into anything.

If something like this should happen, you can now at least recognize the symptoms and not have to cry yourself into a headache and say your goodbyes. You can just get ready to baby the heck out of your dog, which she will probably think she deserves anyway.

Consider yourself informed. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Economizing. Or not.

I'm working towards giving up artificial sweeteners and caffeine*, and am trying to create a new morning ritual for myself that has nothing to do with diet Coke. I'm trying tea; specifically, a spice tea that I just love. (Decaf!) It's expensive, so I thought "Hey, I'll reuse the tea leaves. Just once. Save a buck or three."

Well. If I wanted to drink dishwater, I have some over in the sink I could scoop up. Bleah. I think the little tea leaves gave their all in the first go-round, and just didn't have any more to give.

I will thank them for their service, retire them, and use a fresh batch each day from now on.

And investigate cheaper teas. :)

*My caffeine delivery system is, primarily, diet Coke. I've been pumping aspartame into my body nonstop for 20 years, and it's time to stop. Since I won't get withdrawal from giving up aspartame, but I will from caffeine, I'm giving up the caffeine first and then will move away from the artificial sweeteners. It's a process. It sucks. Fie on all this healthy crap!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Two totally random Thursday thoughts, both about food

It is the tail end of asparagus season here in the midwest; the season is lasting longer because of the chilly spring we've had. Today I picked up three little bundles at the farmer's market-- so fresh that I ended up cooking them just a bit too long, by mistake, because they're so tender that they didn't need as long as ordinary grocery store asparagus.

Heaven. Slightly overcooked heaven, but heaven nonetheless.

** **

Met up with friends for lunch today (a whole post in itself, if I had time), and ordered a salad Nicoise at a little walk-up counter. I ended up waiting a minute or two for the tuna to finish grilling. When the woman working the grill came out, bearing the tuna, she placed it on the lettuce with so much care that she might have been plating a meal at Charlie Trotter's. She nestled that tuna in there like it was the finest of cuts.

It was clear that she took pride in that tuna and that salad, and refused to let it be anything but her best. It was one of those tiny moments that surprise you, and make you think. And, in my case, made me smile.